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Academy score win over England

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Leicester Tigers Academy enjoyed an entertaining 18-13 victory over England Under-18s at Welford Road on Sunday afternoon.

After going behind to a second-minute score from wing Will Hurrell – the Leicester player being joined by clubmates Sam Harrison and Andy Forsyth on England duty – Tigers commanded territory and possession for the remainder of the first half.

They gained their rewards as flanker Rob Bell grabbed a try from a catch-and-drive, and fly-half Rickie Aley added a penalty to gain an 8-5 advantage at half-time.

The second period started with Nathaniel Lowers producing a superb tackle on fly-half Rory Clegg to deny England a try and preserve that lead.

Clegg, of Newcastle Falcons, beat the Tigers defence on the outside and crossed the tryline but, as he looped around under the posts, Lowers made the tackle and prevented him from the grounding the ball.

Less than 10 minutes later, Clegg did bring England level with a penalty, but Aley responded with a drop goal which went over after hitting the crossbar to regain Leicester’s three-point advantage.

The try of the game came just after the half-hour mark in the second period, with Tigers centre Will Lawson scoring a superb solo effort.

Bursting through a gap just outside his own 22, Lawson produced a strong hand-off on the last tackler after leaving the rest of the England defence in his wake and touched down to the right of the posts. Replacement fly-half Joe Glover made no mistake with the conversion to stretch the lead to 10 points at 18-8.

There was still time for Hurrell to score his second try of the afternoon, finishing off a smart and sharp England attack in the right-hand corner.

That, though, was the final action of the match as Tigers recorded a hard-working and well-deserved win over their visitors.

Leicester Tigers Academy: Mitch Culpin, Manu Tuilagi, Will Lawson, Billy Twelvetrees, Nathaniel Lowers, Rickie Aley, Finlay Barnham; Andy Brown (c), Tom Collett, Adam Parkins, Calum Green, Dan Hemingway, Josh Goldspink, Rob Bell, Jeremy Saxon
Replacements: Jack Owens, Ryan Bowers, Seb Pearson, Tom McGregor, Joe Glover, Andy Gates, Michael Gillick, Conor Smith, Karl Pallas

England Under-18s: Tom Catterick (Newcastle Falcons), Christian Wade (London Wasps), Tom Casson (Sale Sharks, c), Tom Homer (London Irish), Will Hurrell (Leicester Tigers), Rory Clegg (Newcastle Falcons), Sam Harrison (Leicester Tigers); Mako Vunipola (Bristol Rugby), David Blackwell (Gloucester Rugby), James Currie (Bath Rugby), Tom Holmes (Sale Sharks), James Gaskell (Sale Sharks), Joe Trayfoot (Harlequins), Joe Barker (Leeds Carnegie), Alex Gray (Newcastle Falcons).
Replacements: Lee Imiolek (Sale Sharks), Jamie George (Saracens), Rob Buchanan (Harlequins), Joe Quinn (Leeds Carnegie), Jacob Rowan (Leeds Carnegie), Rob Milligan (Northampton Saints), Jordi Pasqualin (Gloucester Rugby), Freddie Burns (Bath Rugby), Andy Forsyth (Leicester Tigers), Sam Smith (Harlequins), Jack Wallace (London Wasps).